[cryptography] Here's What Law Enforcement Can Recover From A Seized iPhone

James A. Donald jamesd at echeque.com
Thu Mar 28 23:44:39 EDT 2013

On 2013-03-29 8:23 AM, Jeffrey Goldberg wrote:
>> I suspect Apple has the methods/processes to provide it.
> I have no more evidence than you do, but my guess is that they don't, for
> the simple reason that if they did that fact would leak out. Secret
> conspiracies (and that's what it would take) grow less plausible
> as a function of the number of people who have to be in on it.

Real secret conspiracy:  Small enough to fit around a coffee table.

Semi secret conspiracy.  Big enough to exercise substantial power, 
powerful enough to say "ha ha, you must be crazy, also racist, pawn of 
big oil, Nazi" whenever anything leaks out.

Looking back at the early twentieth century, we find an ample supply of 
secret conspiracies which must have hundreds of thousands of people in 
the know.

I could mention two rather famous ones, but this would divert the list 
off topic because three people with ten sock puppets each would then 
post a bunch of messages saying "ha ha, you must be crazy"

> (Furthermore I suspect that implausibility rises super-linearly with
> the number of people in on a conspiracy.)
>> I think there's much more to it than a simple brute force.
> We know that those brute force techniques exist (there are several vendors
> of "forensic" recovery tools), and we've got very good reasons to believe
> that only a small portion of users go beyond the default 4 digit passcode.
> In case of LEAs, they can easily hold on to the phones for the 20 minutes
> (on average) it takes to brute force them.
> So I don't see why you suspect that there is some other way that only
> Apple (or other relevant vendor) and the police know about.
> Cheers,
> -j
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